The Dust Collectors “Hanlon’s Razor”

Neon Moon Records, 2023

Sharp songwriting, and sharper guitar riffs and basslines, with sweet 4 part harmonies. An EP to cherish.

The Dust Collectors call themselves an alternative folk band and hail from Calgary, Canada.  They claim influences including The Band and Crosby Stills and Nash, and on the opener ‘Waiting Game’ it’s CSN who are the clearest comparison. Something not far from Neil Young’s guitar style props up ‘Bullshit & Lies’ with a squalling guitar solo typical of the compatriot.

But comparisons sell them short despite the unmistakeable country stylings of ‘Black Fly’. The walking bass line on that song is something all their own. Their harmony vocals are one of their most distinctive songs, along with Steve Rozitis distinctive bass playing. ‘Black Fly’ bounds along on a chorus of “Woohoos” and another fiery guitar solo. It’s not clear if Luke Giblin or Matt Easton are responsible for the solos but they are a cut above much of the rather pedestrian guitar playing that is currently on offer elsewhere.

That goes for their words as well. Couplets like “Lord knows, I just couldn’t say, should I go, should I stay. Kinda feel like that black fly buzzin’ round the window” and “It’s been hard to find the ways to breathe in without just counting days. I’ve been keeping time even if that’s not entirely true” are typical. They may not be poetry, but they are what the songs need. ‘Keeping Time’ adds organ to the instrumental mix. It brings a new soulful feel to the song that stretches out the choppy guitar riffs of some of the other songs and again works with the longer vocal lines, without slowing the pace of the song.

Lastly, we have ‘Here’s Hoping’ which starts as a slower song that does remind you of The Band at their moist stately. It soon speeds up to a fast country shuffle, and alternates between those two sections throughout the song. You can see what they were trying to achieve, and it was a bold move, even if it is the one song on the EP that doesn’t entirely work. It fades out at 2 and a half minutes in the middle of the guitar solo.

The dictionary states that Hanlon’s Razor is a saying: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” It’s an interesting aphorism, but inappropriate here as there’s nothing stupid about this EP. There is an album due in the not-too-distant future and as long as they haven’t used all their best songs on this EP then it should be more than worth investigating.


About Tim Martin 241 Articles
Sat in my shed listening to music, and writing about some of it. Occasionally allowed out to attend gigs.
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